Group Complaints Management Policy
2. Catergorisation of complaints
All complaints must be managed and categorised according to relevant regulations, including but not limited to the FAIS General Code of Conduct and the Conduct Standards for Banks which are underpinned by the TCF outcomes.
The aim of the categorisation is to support the effectiveness of Investec’s complaint management framework in managing conduct risk and effecting improved outcomes and processes for Investec’s complainants. Each Business Unit (“BU”) will utilise the categories and may have additional categories relevant to its business model, financial products and services and its target market and/or client base.
3. Prompt Attention to Complaints
All complaints received must be identified and handled promptly and in accordance with regulatory requirements. Investec will acknowledge the complaint with the complainant as soon as possible and will regularly inform the complainant of the progress made in finalising the complaint. Investec will additionally inform the complainant of its decision in response to the complaint.
4. Process and Procedures
Investec will abide by the following general principles on receipt of a complaint, irrespective of the business area the complaint relates to:
- acknowledge receipt of the complaint and inform the complainant of the applicable complaints handling process and resolution timeline;
- investigate the complaint competently, diligently and impartially, obtaining additional information as necessary;
- assess fairly, consistently, and promptly:
- the subject matter of the complaint;
- whether the complaint should be upheld or rejected;
- what remedial action or redress (or both) may be appropriate; and
- if appropriate, whether Investec has reasonable grounds to be satisfied that another party may be solely or jointly responsible for the matter alleged in the complaint.
- ensure that plain language is used in all communications with a complainant.
Having performed the above, Investec will:
- explain to the complainant promptly and, in a way that is fair, clear and not misleading, Investec’s assessment/investigation of the complaint, its decision on it;
- provide reasons for the decision and provide possible recourse available for the complainant regarding the decision where the complaint is rejected;
- offer redress or remedial action when appropriate (always seeking to put the complainant back in the position they were in before the cause of complaint occurred) and notify the complainant of the options available to them if they are still dissatisfied, notifying complainants of their right to approach the appropriate Ombudsman / Regulator; and
- comply promptly with any offer of remedial action or redress accepted by the complainant.
Investec will take certain factors into account in the assessment/investigation of a complaint including the following:
- all the available evidence and the circumstances of the complaint;
- similarities with other complaints received by Investec; and
- relevant guidance published by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), other relevant regulators, the Ombudsman.
Each BU will document its complaints management and/or handling procedures and shall stipulate the escalation, decision-making, monitoring, oversight and review processes for its particular BU. The respective BU complaints escalation procedures will provide the applicable internal escalation of complex or unusual complaints, including the allocation of persons of appropriate seniority and expertise within Investec to ensure that the compliant is appropriately managed and resolved.
Each BU will determine the appropriate timeframes applicable to its business having considered the applicable regulatory prescribed timelines, its business model, financial products and services and its target market/ client base. The BUs will further determine the circumstances under which the extension of timeframes may be permitted as part of its complaint’s management processes and procedures.
Complaints information will be recorded, scrutinised and analysed on an ongoing basis and will be utilised to:
- proactively identify and manage conduct risks;
- effect improved outcomes and processes for its clients; and
- prevent reoccurrences of poor outcomes and errors.
5. Complaints Management
Investec’s Board is responsible for effective complaints management and approves and oversees the effectiveness of the implementation of Investec’s complaints management policy. This oversight responsibility can be delegated to the respective senior management across all the BUs.
BUs are similarly responsible for conducting investigations, analysing complaints, approving proposed remediation or redress and monitoring the complaints handling process. When conducting investigations, the business may draw upon the experience and input of any individual within Investec to assist them with the investigation.
6. Performance standards and remuneration in relation to complaints management
Investec’s remuneration philosophy is underpinned by our value to drive an entrepreneurial spirit in the organisation. We seek to use our various reward levers to attract talent, retain these outstanding individuals and recognise as well as further motivate exceptional performance. The Investec group is committed to offering all employees a reward package that is competitive, performance-driven and fair and the group’s remuneration policy statement is designed to promote the long-term success of Investec.
Investec provides for appropriate performance standards and remuneration and reward strategies for complaints management to ensure objectivity and impartiality.
7. Record Keeping
Investec retains records of all complaints received in accordance with its statutory and regulatory obligations. Each division within Investec has its own processes in place for the accurate recording of all complaints received and the measures taken to investigate and respond to the complainant and/or resolve the complaint. The records will be kept in accordance with Investec’s record retention policies. Investec will treat all information relating to the complaint with confidentially.
Investec BUs report on all complaints received within their respective governance structures including the identified risks, trends and actions taken in response thereto and the effectiveness and outcomes of the complaints management. All complaints received via the Ombudsman are also reported to Board and/or its respective sub-committees.
All reportable complaints shall be reported to the FSCA in accordance with reporting requirements (including public reporting).
9. Service Provider
Where Investec outsources regulated activities, it ensures that the Service Provider has in place its own Complaints Policy that complies with the regulatory requirements for dealing promptly and fairly with complaints. Investec must review the Service Providers complaints management framework to ensure the following:
- the Service Provider has adequate complaints management processes in place to ensure fair treatment of complainants;
- there are provisions for the monitoring and analysis of aggregated complaints data in relation to complaints received by the Service Provider and related outcomes;
- an effective referral process will be enabled between Investec and the Service Provider to cater for the handling and monitoring of complaints that are submitted directly to Investec and to facilitate referral to the other for resolution; and
- that there are processes in place that ensure that complainants are appropriately informed of the process being followed, the progress and the outcome of the complaint.
All employees are trained on general client feedback and complaints handling processes and the importance of keeping a record of the complaints received. Bespoke training shall provide for those directly involved in the client feedback process.
11. Client Awareness
Investec shall publish this policy together with respective complaints procedures on its website (including BU websites) to ensure client awareness of Investec’s complaints management policy and complaints handling processes. Moreover, client documentation contains (where appropriate) details of Investec’s complaints handling procedures and the rights of clients to ultimately refer their complaints to the appropriate Ombudsman should they so wish to do so.
12. Ombudsman Contact
The SA Client Resolution Team is the point of contact for Investec with the Banking Ombudsman for complaints. The respective FAIS Compliance Officer is the point of entry for Investec with the FAIS Ombudsman/Short-term Insurance and Long-term Insurance, respectively. Complaints relating to Johannesburg Stock Exchange investments will be referred to the JSE Surveillance Department.